We are used to hearing about how to help children with ADD/ADHD, but the adults they later grow up to be get forgotten. While many children outgrow their ADD/ADHD, most of them don’t. They become adults with ADD/ADHD who go on to have regular jobs, relationships and families that can be impacted by their ADD/ADHD. While I look for a more recent source to cite, until then I will share that an NIMH funded National Comorbidity Survey Replication, estimated the prevalence of Adult ADHD at 4.4% in 2006.
I realize I am a bit long winded for ADHD, but you can catch the summary in starting at 9:22
1. Excellent organization system- With bins and color coding
2. Shared calendars
3. Plan and write things down
4. Gentle reminders but no nagging
5. Build in a time cushions- No more than 5 to 10 minutes
Receiving any diagnosis is difficult. When you are unsure what to do that makes things even worse. Fortunately there are a few things you can do to begin setting your mind at ease and adjusting to your new normal.
As fall approaches and the leaves are changing many of us are enjoying the change in season, the beauty of autumn leaves and looking forward to sweater season. Unfortunately, for many others it’s reminder that their dreary season is approaching. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (Winter Blues), being ready for the season is an important step to helping you conquer the season and the disorder. Preparation helps you hold off the symptoms as long as you can, and if they breakthrough, preparation ensures you have the resources the address them.
These five steps can help you be better prepared:
- Declutter and refresh your home
- Get your winter wardrobe together
- Find/begin an exercise program- the more fun the better
- Make a social commitment calendar
- Get a your support network together
We often hear about the emotional affair, but another one gradually making its way into the mix is the social media affair. It may not necessarily mean that you are going to connect offline to do more than chat, but getting too involved online can and often do cause real life relationship issues. There are times that the person involved may believe that they were not doing anything wrong, but if they only thought about it, they may have noticed that something was afoot. Before you fing your own relationship in trouble here are a few things to keep in mind.
Adding friends that you would not have offline or that your spouse would not agree with?
Most people on social media do have some friends that they would only connect with online. It’s when you start having that special friend that you know you would not keep offline or that your spouse can’t know you are chatting with that you start falling into that danger zone.
Sharing things that you would not share offline?
It never fails that someone sends an image that ends up where it wasn’t supposed to and then the problems start. Anything that is too private to reveal in person is too private for your message box. If you were going to share some “For Your Eyes Only” type images, they should only be with your spouse. Given the nature of privacy on the web just don’t do it at all.
Meeting up in private chats at odd hours?
When you start getting into private chats people that you are looking forward to a little bit too much, or chats that have to take place at certain odd hours of the night you really need to look at what you are doing.
Having discussions you wouldn’t want your spouse to know about? With someone you don’t want them to know about?
People get very comfortable and open behind the safety of a screen. That distance allows people to say things that they may not be able to say with another pair of eyes looking directly at them. If conversations are getting too personal – you may want to start pumping the brakes.
Are you having relationships that make you feel guilty, sneaky or different about your spouse?
If you are thinking or feeling guilty or like you may be doing something wrong, chances are—you are doing something. It may have started out innocently, but once you get to that point where you are wondering or questioning, you have probably crossed a line that could be damaging to your relationship.
Many of these behaviors could be innocent enough to be explained away, but what really becomes the issue is the perception of your spouse. You may say or even believe that your actions are above board, but if your spouse feels that there is an issue, then at that moment there is an issue even if there wasn’t one before. Be conscious of who and what matters to you and take care of them. Your actions online can and very often do have real life consequences.
It is true that social media is a big part of life today. You have to be careful not to allow it to seep into places where it does not belong. Many couples find themselves in relationship troubles because they failed to set limitation. Here are a few things you can do to Social Media Proof Your Relationship.
Respect your relationship and your spouse – Even online you still are in a relationship despite what your relationship status my read. Carry yourself as such. Even when it is easier to do certain things behind the safety of an electronic screen, you should still carry yourself as someone’s spouse just as you do offline. If you wouldn’t do it offline probably shouldn’t do it online.
Do not vent about, criticize, or chastise your spouse on social media– Don’t put your partner on blast like that. Don’t embarrass or bring them shame online. That type of shaming spreads wider and you are less able to take it back. Even if you apologize when you calm down, you still have all those people who know about it- including your primary victim
Avoid living your relationship online– When you tell every little good thing in your relationship, people will be able to tell when things aren’t as hot because you are not posting. That lets people in on your weak spots. You are also allowing people to be involved in parts of your life that should be private. It can also let someone who’s been waiting know that the time to temp has come- maybe for you or your spouse.
Avoid comparing your actual relationship to what you see online. Remember, social media is the poor man’s reality show. People are posting mostly things that make them look better. The posts are more a highlights than actual reality. You don’t know the back stories behind these highlights. You don’t know the sacrifices that are made or what is endured in order to arrive these brief envy-producing moments.
Do not share things about your relationship that your spouse is not comfortable sharing. That is part of respecting your partner. When you are in a relationship it’s no longer just your privacy. Where your lives intersect your privacy becomes shared. If the there is something your partner does ot want shared with others, you should respect that.
Identify the Negative message & reframe it
Identify and show case your strengths
Surround yourself with positivity
Set achievable goals and reach them
Also look at
If fear didn’t hold you back, how far would you go?
Many of us experience some fear at times. Experiencing fear is a normal part of the human experience. Fear is a good thing. It makes people think twice. It gives reason to pause and evaluate situations before acting. What makes the difference is not in whether or not you experience fear, rather how you use the fear when it presents. Conquering fear is something that must be done by everyone in order to insure that their goals are realized.
Face it– You can’t fight an enemy that you are denying exists. Acknowledge that there is a issue and that/ ho it is impacting your life. Do some research and soul searching to determine where the whole thing came from. That may help you realize where the whole thing started and give you a starting point for undoing the damage.
Educate yourself on the true reality. This is a way of confronting the fear. Get to know that which you are afraid of. The monster in the closet seems a lot less scary once you know that it’s just your shirt falling off the hanger. When we take the time to explore things and really get to know them, we find that they are usually not as scary as we make them out to be. Even when something may still present some danger, the level that we can make them out to be is often substantially higher than what they actually are.
Adjust your environment to help you cope as you make the transition. Adjustments can be very basic. They simply need to be things that help make the transition more manageable. If you have an issue with public speaking, a simple adjustment can be bringing someone with you who makes you comfortable, that way when you look out in the audience and see them smile you remember to relax. It can be as simple as bringing a picture with you that will serve as a reminder when you see
Reality shaping is the process of creating the life that you want. You can have all these ideas and things that you want, but fitting them into your reality requires that you face some of the things that have kept you from being able to attain them. As you do that one of the things that you will need to look at the things that you will be able to achieve once you conquer your fears. This in a way is drawing the image that can be used as a motivator. In Attitude Adjustment I talk about designing a road map or blueprint to your goals and having the cover image be your desired destination. In reality shaping you are doing the same thing- Painting a picture of the things that you will do when you are no longer being held back by fear.
Strength building helps you through the moments of doubt. You start with your existing strengths that are used to reinforce your ability to indeed go forth and defeat your fears. As you progress, your strengths will increase. Each step you take forward will be confirmation something else you are capable of. Hold on to these moments and keep them in your toolbox. When you come to moments of doubt, reach in and see those steps that you have been able to take and recapture the strength that helped you get there and will help you make your next step.
Stress management is necessary for maintaining one’s quality of life, but because “stress” is not always a visible, tangible or calculable item that can be pointed to on an imaging screen or shown on a lab result sheet, it is often over looked. Many people talk about stress but don’t actively engage in stress management. What people often neglect is the fact that failing to effectively manage stress can lead to some of the physical ailments that they will be able to see, measure and test for, such as ulcers and high blood pressure. It is also true that while “stress” is often talked about methods of managing it are not as often addressed as stress is often considered and accepted as “a part of life”. While that may be true, there are some things that can be done to reduce and manage stress, including the following:
Exercise and Eat Well
Exercising is a great way to release tension. You can exercise to relax before things get out to hand, or if you are already feeling overwhelmed, exercising can help you release some of that pressure and give you an endorphin boost to help you get to the next step. Eating well is just as important as it provides your body with the necessary fuel to get through all that you are putting it through. It is not enough to eat to fill your stomach. Eating is about more than hunger prevention- it is the mechanism through which you support your body. Your car would stay up just fine perched up on four bricks, but I’m sure you prefer to have sitting on four tires when you park it, that way it is ready to go when you set off to your next destination. The same should apply to your body. Feed it right consistently so that it is ready to go handle your next challenge.
Plan and Time Management
One of the greatest benefits of planning is that it allows you to in some way foresee what is to come. That gives you the opportunity to anticipate roadblocks and hiccups and put resources in place to address them. Planning helps you to manage your time more effectively and provide the opportunity to see and choose how you are investing your time.
Delegate and Get Help
Make use of the resources available to you. There are others around who can and will take on some of the load and at time may do so even more efficiently. Take the opportunity to enlist them. When you delegate, you remove things from your plate allowing you time to focus on the things that you really do have to do. Having more to do than you have time for is another frequent source of stress. The pressure experience in trying to get it all done and feeling pressed for time can be easily managed by allow others to do their part. Many people feel the need to do it all so that it is done “their way” but you must also remember that your way is not necessarily the only way. There is a great need to make the shift from focusing on your way and to allowing simply a correct way to provide. The goal should be to have things done right, and that means accepting that there may be more than one way (your way) of doing something. Give others the opportunity to do something their way and get it right too.
Prioritize and Pick Your Battles
Prioritize. Not just the things that you have to do but even more importantly, the things that you give your attention to. Be stingy with your mental space and emotions. Don’t just let anything and anyone in. This is one of the places that people waste most, by giving their time, attention and emotion to things that really do not matter. If a situation does not take away from you or would not possibly bring you a benefit, it may not be necessary for you to engage. The stress brought on by things that would not have affected our lives if we chose not to engage is completely avoidable. In life you will have more than your fair share of unavoidable stress, and it is up to you to keep your stress tank from over-flowing by not allowing the avoidable stresses to linger in.
Speak Up and Talk To Someone
When a situation directly (or even indirectly but actually) affects your life, it is important to speak up and do so in a timely manner. Not speaking up doe s not make the issue go away. It simply gives it time to simmer inside you.
Managing stress effectively should create an opportunity for you to have more time to dedicate to life affirming activities. It does not matter what it is that you are doing, it simply matters that you are doing something. Engage in activities that remind you of how great life is. Take time to create and savor beautiful moments. It does not matter how much you do in your everyday life if you are not enjoying your life. Managing stress effectively helps you create opportunities to enjoy your life, so make stress management a priority.
Being a caregiver or part of a support network for someone with a mental illness can be difficult at times. While the focus is usually on the identified patient, the caregivers and support networks also have their own needs for resources which should be addressed. Taking care of oneself is as important as taking care of others.
Unlike the flue or a fever, people don’t generally wake up one morning with a full blown mental illness. Symptoms of mental illness have a way of gradually working their way into the person’s life. The illness may not be noticeable at first, and even when it becomes so, many people are not ready to accept it. Still and especially in those beginning stages, a strong support systems is important. Even when the person is very likely to withdraw or push others away, this is a time that they truly need a strong support system and the resilience and commitment in family and friends really count so they can be there.
While we are still working on learning the cause of most mental illnesses, there are a few things that we can continue to do to maintain good mental health.
Some behaviors such as:
- Taking care of your body- Making sure you are eating and sleeping well and getting exercise
- Engaging in life affirming activities and managing stress
- Taking care of and continuing to develop your mind
- Taking in active role in life
- eliminating negativity (things, situations and people)
can be very helpful in helping you keep some mental health conditions at a better distance.
Despite its prevalence in our communities, Mental Illness remains hushed and stigmatized. Much of this is due to misconceptions and lack of knowledge. Learn five things that are not not true of mental illness.
Many adults now diagnosed with ADD/ADHD were once children whose needs for services was missed. Now as adults they have the diagnosis to help put a name to what they have been experiencing, but the is still a need to implement changes to help them manage the symptoms and make adjustments help them learn excel.
Every adult with ADD/ADHD should have
- A psychiatrist
- A therapist
- An accountability partner
- A strong schedule/Plan/Organization system